Romance Scenes and Secondhand Embarrassment
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  1. #1

    Romance Scenes and Secondhand Embarrassment

    I've dabbled in lots of genres but, always seem to have some sort of romantic sub-plot present in my stories. The issue is, writing those small tender moments or a phyiscially intimate scene have me blushing and bumbling through. I feel as if I am exposing myself and my characters.
    These scenes feel very awkward for me to write and much less have someone else read them.
    So, I guess my question is: How do I write any romantic scene without being overcome by secondhand embarrassment?
    I am grateful for any and all advice.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    It's good that it has you blushing and bumbling through. Shows the romance scene is emotive and evocative.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Crismila View Post
    I've dabbled in lots of genres but, always seem to have some sort of romantic sub-plot present in my stories. The issue is, writing those small tender moments or a phyiscially intimate scene have me blushing and bumbling through. I feel as if I am exposing myself and my characters.
    These scenes feel very awkward for me to write and much less have someone else read them.
    So, I guess my question is: How do I write any romantic scene without being overcome by secondhand embarrassment?
    I am grateful for any and all advice.
    Thank you in advance.
    You probably need to show us something. A moment you find embarrassing? It's hard to guess what you are talking about.

    You can skip over things, and that's common. In my WIP, the sex scene starts with the conversation afterwards. You can also be conceptual.

    I have had moments where the physicality was important. (How did they have sex without making any noise?) But as a writer, you usually have other issues, like character, which means less physical description.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    You probably need to show us something. A moment you find embarrassing? It's hard to guess what you are talking about.

    You can skip over things, and that's common. In my WIP, the sex scene starts with the conversation afterwards. You can also be conceptual.

    I have had moments where the physicality was important. (How did they have sex without making any noise?) But as a writer, you usually have other issues, like character, which means less physical description.
    It isn't really sex scenes because I usually let the night fade out with evidence of the deed subtlety appearing the next day. What I am referring to are things as simple as a kissing scene.
    Where the two characters care about each other so much that their hands slightly shake as they hold each other for fear of furthering their relationship and ruining the connection they already have. That kind of sincere, bitter sweet, selfish moment is almost impossible for me to write. Yet, the moments leading up to it are easier than the act itself. It's the small intimate moments the are difficult.
    A silent confession, holding hands, kissing, a loving glance, and cuddling. Those kind of scenes.
    Just thinking about it make my face flush.
    I alway attributed it to my shyness but when I took creative writing classes in college, many of my classmates didn't bat an eyelash at reading their erotica aloud in class.
    It's not that I am a prude. I can read anything without being affected or maybe blushing a bit at more explicit scenes.
    This has to do with my own writing an how to overcome this discomfort.

  5. #5
    Perhaps the embarrassment comes from the voyeur aspect of being a writer telling what others (the characters) are doing. Try writing the story as if it were you with someone you care about. What would you do or say in the situations. What would you want the other person to do or say. For this brief moment make it you in the story instead of the characters. This might make it easier to write without having to cover your eyes.
    K.S. Crooks- Dreamer and Author

  6. #6
    To be really ruthless here, the point is to write well. If your discomfort interfered with that, that would be a problem. But you aren't reporting that. Acually, I like what you have described and would look forward to reading one of your kiss scenes.

    For all I know, your discomfort is a sign you wrote the scene well. Or that you were somehow being honest with the reader.

    So, can you call it a strength? That will make it easier to live with. I am now going to try to write a kiss scene that makes me embarrassed, it's a really intriguing idea.

    And again, if it actually interferes with your writing, that's a problem. Does it?

  7. #7
    "They kissed, made love, went to bed."

  8. #8
    I don't know if I am hitting the mark with this, but we'll see.

    I have noticed lately that I get so immersed in my characters and the moments they experience, that I feel I become them and their experiences become very personal. There have been some passages in books or stories I have written, that when I re-read them after months and even years, I can still come to tears, feeling that same emotion. It took a while for me to figure that out, but once I did I saw it as an asset, rather than something to try to avoid.

    I think you feel embarrassed or flushed because you FEEL whatever the moment is for your character, and I would guess that your character probably responds they way you would to such stimulation. The reason, I think, that you can read similar things in books others have written and not have that reaction is just that - you didn't write them, you have no emotional investment; you are not "living" that moment with those characters that someone else created. I think you can hit the mark emotionally much better than someone who is just chronicling events or following story lines. Does this make any sense?

    I think I have been like this my whole life, and one of the reasons I feel things so intently when I write. I often cry and am sometimes disappointed when someone reads my story and doesn't feel that impact at all.

    Crismila, this is a gift I think.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


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